Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Kate's baby: federal or provincial responsibility, cont'd

OK, cuter than the city in BC
Andrew Smith draws our attention to his recent article on the royal line of succession in the Canadian constitution. 
I know that you are a republican, but I thought you would be interested in this monarchy-related article we just published. The timing of the publication is pretty good, as Tony Abbott will soon be visiting his friend Stephen Harper in Ottawa. 
Glad to, Andrew, but must confess I find it hard to muster much interest in this "how many angels can dance on the head of a crown" arcana. 

I'm mostly a Canadian-republican, in that I understand Canada needs a Canadian head of state. If England or Britain value their monarchy, that should be of interest to them, not us. When Vladimir Putin was offended by something Prince Charles said recently (in Canada, actually) about Russia, he commented that it was inappropriate language for "a future King of England," which quite reasonably defines who Chas is in the eyes of the world. It's the rent-a-monarch situation that need attention. 

Andrew's article is actually not all royal-baby. He seeks to link the Canadian government's recent policy choices on the royal line of succession to the "Macdonaldian constitution" and a long historical evolution. Hmmmm.  Seems to me one of his sources sums it up well when she attributes it mostly to the "constitutionally shoddy arrangements" of the current government. (See Senate reform, see SCC appointments, see the data-free policy principles behind the gutting of Statistics Canada, etc. etc.)  As constitutional historian Ged Martin once said to me (totally different context), "Sometimes you just have to say it's a mess and a muddle." 

Previous coverage here.
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